Lakshmi touched Simran's head with affection and sat down next to her daughter .Simran's gaze was still as usual .She was looking at the calm water of lake, occasionally looking at the pebbles that she held in her hand. She no longer intends to cause ripples in water. Stillness in water was a reflection of her life.
Lakshmi wasgetting worried now .It's been a month since that dreadful incident .Everyone in the home have eventually accepted the fate , that Raj is no longer with them, they learnt to move on . But for Simran, life has come to a halt.
Raj was an year younger to Simran, but they both look like twins .They were more like best friends then siblings. There was not a thing in world they could not share, not a secret in their closet that was not known to other. They use to come down to this lake every Saturday and spend whole evening by the side of the lake. Playing,singing, chatting and laughing.They loved throwing pebbles in water and see the ripples travel outwards. Then they use to sit in awe as the golden rays of Sun cast their shadow into the water of lake and paint the whole area in its golden hue.
Last time when they came here, it was raining heavily .Lakshmi warned them not to go down towards the lake as the water level was expected to rise above the safety limits. Raj was supposed to leave next day to US for higher studies and Simran was too adamant to spend their last evening together by the side of lake. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she remembered the day. It was late afternoon,but amidst rain and mist it was dark out there .They parked their car some 100 meters from lake and took that uneven path. Raj held her hand and in another hand balanced the Umbrella against the rain and wind. She was clung to him like a small kitten. At one corner near the lake Simran spotted a yellow wild flower.
"That's a beautiful flower", she gleamed.
"You want that flower sis "Raj asked her, too aware of the fact that Simran loved wild flowers.
"Yes! " She said almost immediately, then paused for a moment and said "No, leave it ...It must be slippery at that side.
Raj gave her Umbrella and in fraction of a second walked down towards the lake "I'll get anything for you dear sis."
Right there in front of her eyes she saw him slipping down the lake and disappearing in the rain and mist. She cried for help but there was no one in vicinity to hear her call.
Lakshmi hugged Simran and let her cry out; echoes of her sobs gloomed the lakeside. Simran looked at the pebbles she held in her hand, stood up to leave, turned back and threw them all in the water.
She sat down there on her knees and break down in another fist of crying.